Lions Suspected of Dismembering Rhino Poachers In South Africa

Lions Suspected of Dismembering Rhino Poachers In South Africa


On the night of July 3rd, 2018, rangers at the Sibuya Game Reserve in Kenton-on-Sea in South Africa, discovered the dismembered remains of a human man inside their lion camp.

According to local news agency Herald Live, nearby a hunting rifle with a silencer, wire cutters, and a long ax was found. These items, of a decidedly unfriendly nature regardless of the context they’re discovered in, are particularly suspicious considering the encompassing Eastern Cape province has been a hotspot for rhino poaching in recent years. So far in 2018, nine rhinos in the region have been killed. Recently, at the end of June 2018, a southern white rhino female at the nearby Kragga Kamma Game Park was killed by horn traffickers although only one centimeter of her keratin appendage remained – the rest was removed as an anti-poaching precaution.

National Geographic reported that 1,028 rhinos were poached across South Africa in 2017, a nation which is home to about 80% of the world’s remaining, approximately 29,000 rhinos. All five extant species – two of which are native to the African continent and the other three discovered in India and southeast Asia – are classified as either threatened, endangered, or critically endangered.

Returning to the scene on the morning of July 4th to investigate in daylight and search for other poachers, local police found more body parts strewn among the bushes, which were enough to constitute two or possibly three individuals, according to the BBC.

For safety, the six lions who live in the large enclosure were tranquilized by a veterinarian.

Police spokesperson Captain Mali Govender was unwilling to state on the record that the mauled remains belonged to wildlife poachers, as the evidence must still be reviewed.

“On Wednesday morning, investigators and specialists combed the scene and managed to retrieve remains which were taken by the department of health for forensic testing.”, she said.

“The identity of the [persons] remains unknown. The firearm has been taken by police and will be sent to the ballistics laboratory to establish if it had been used in any other poaching or crimes.”

On the whole, the ecologically rich nation seems to be committed to increasing anti-poaching measures such as the use of drones, trained dogs, and high-tech radar surveillance systems. A government press release from earlier in 2018 stated that 502 alleged poachers were arrested in 2017, although data on the number of convictions is currently unavailable.

Unfortunately, South Africa has had a historically poor track record of cases against these individuals actually going to trial or reaching a verdict, although this appears to be improving.

However, it seems that the rhino’s savannah neighbors, the lions, stepped up as judge, jury, and executioner – a role they seem well-suited for. Back in February 2018, a pride of lions living adjacent to the famed Kruger National Park mauled a suspected rifle-armed poacher, quickly devouring most of his body but leaving the head.

Lions Suspected of Dismembering Rhino Poachers In South Africa Lions Suspected of Dismembering Rhino Poachers In South Africa Reviewed by Katerina Pap on 12:29 PM Rating: 5

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